LA Times Crossword 25 Nov 22, Friday

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Constructed by: Emma Oxford
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Opening State-ments

Themed answers are each common terms reinterpreted as phrases starting with the two-letter postal abbreviation for a US state:

  • 16A Flower of the Hoosier State? : IN CARNATION (not “incarnation”)
  • 24A Basement access in the Palmetto State? : SC AREA WAY (not “scare away”)
  • 30A Clothing in the Sunshine State? : FL ATTIRE (not “flat tire”)
  • 44A Girls from the Show-Me State? : MO LASSES (not “molasses”)
  • 50A Psychedelics from the Evergreen State? : WA ‘SHROOMS (not “washrooms”)
  • 62A Fortified wines from the Ocean State? : RI VERMOUTHS (not “river mouths”)

Read on, or jump to …
… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 6m 00s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Yelped about? : RATED

yelp.com is a website that provides a local business directory and reviews of services. The site is sort of like Yellow Pages on steroids, and the term “yelp” is derived from “yel-low p-ages”.

13 Actress Taylor-Joy : ANYA

Actress Anya Taylor-Joy had quite the international upbringing. She was born in Miami, and raised in Buenos Aires and then London. She is perhaps best known for playing the title character in the 2020 film adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Emma”, and the lead role in the Netflix miniseries “The Queen’s Gambit”.

15 PC core : CPU

The central processing unit (CPU) is the main component on the motherboard of a computer. The CPU is the part of the computer that carries out most of the functions required by a program. Nowadays you can get CPUs in everything from cars to telephones.

16 Flower of the Hoosier State? : IN CARNATION (not “incarnation”)

The exact origin of the word “hoosier” is unknown, but has been around since at least 1830. The term had no direct linkage with Indiana until John Finley of Richmond, Indiana wrote a poem called “The Hoosier’s Nest” in 1833. A few years later, by 1840, “hoosiers” was generally accepted as a term describing Indiana residents.

The carnation is also known as the clove pink. President William McKinley viewed the red carnation as his lucky flower, and so one often adorned his jacket lapel. Ohio named the red carnation its state flower in McKinley’s honor, after he was assassinated in 1901.

18 Some triage pros : RNS

Registered nurse (RN)

Triage is the process of prioritizing patients for treatment, especially on the battlefield. The term “triage” is French and means “sorting”.

19 Opposite of paleo- : NEO-

The prefix “paleo-” means “prehistoric, primitive”. It comes from the Greek word “palaios” which means “old, ancient”. The prefix “neo-” would be the opposite, meaning “new, recent”.

20 Stand for a presentation : EASEL

The word “easel” comes from an old Dutch word meaning “donkey”, would you believe? The idea is that an easel carries its load (an oil painting, say) just as a donkey would be made to carry a load.

21 Clog fillers : FEET

Clogs are shoes made from wood, at least in part. The clog originated as a protective item of footwear for use by farm, factory and mine workers.

24 Basement access in the Palmetto State? : SC AREA WAY (not “scare away”)

The palmetto is a genus of palms that are native to the tropical regions of the Americas. The Sabal palmetto is the state tree of both Florida and South Carolina. South Carolina’s state flag also features a silhouette of a Sabal palmetto tree.

27 Three-line verse : HAIKU

A haiku is a very elegant form of Japanese verse. When writing a haiku in English we tend to impose the rule that the verse must contain 17 syllables. This restriction comes from the rule in Japanese that the verse must contain 17 sound units called “moras”, but moras and syllables aren’t the same thing. Sadly, the difference is not so clear to me. Here’s an example of a Haiku:

Haikus are easy
But sometimes they don’t make sense
Refrigerator

30 Clothing in the Sunshine State? : FL ATTIRE (not “flat tire”)

Florida is known as the Sunshine State, although it is also the lightning capital of the US, experiencing more lightning strikes than the rest of the country. Florida is also the nation’s fourth-rainiest state, after Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

38 Word before toast or after peach : MELBA

Melba toast is a dry, thinly sliced toast that is usually served with soup or salad. Melba toast was created by chef Auguste Escoffier for opera singer Dame Nellie Melba, for whom he also created the dessert called peach Melba.

Peach Melba is a dessert comprising peaches and raspberry sauce with vanilla ice cream. The dish was the creation of chef Auguste Escoffier, who introduced it at the Savoy Hotel in London in the 1890s in honor of Australian soprano Dame Nellie Melba. Escoffier later developed Melba toast, also in honor of the singer.

40 Comm. system in the film “CODA” : ASL

American Sign Language (ASL)

“CODA” is a 2021 movie, a remake of the 2014 French-Belgian film “La Famille Bélier”. The English-language version stars Emilia Jones as the only hearing member of a deaf family struggling with a fishing business in Gloucester, Massachusetts. “CODA” was the first film distributed by a streaming service (Apple TV+) to win a Best Picture Oscar. The title “CODA” is an acronym standing for “child of deaf adults”.

44 Girls from the Show-Me State? : MO LASSES (not “molasses”)

“Show-Me State” is the unofficial nickname of Missouri. The moniker was given to the state apparently because the population was noted for being conservative and non-credulous.

50 Psychedelics from the Evergreen State? : WA ‘SHROOMS (not “washrooms”)

Washington has been nicknamed the Evergreen State since 1890, when the moniker was proposed by journalist turned real estate tycoon Charles Tallmadge Conover. The nickname has never been adopted officially, although it does appear on Washington state license plates. The name is a reference to the abundance of evergreen trees in the state’s forests.

54 Banks known as “Mr. Cub” : ERNIE

First baseman Ernie Banks was known as “Mr. Cub”, and played his entire 19-year professional career with the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs retired Banks’ uniform number 14 in 1982, making him the first Cubs player to be so honored. Banks was known for his catchphrase, “It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame … Let’s play two!”, a reference to his love of the game, always wanting to play a doubleheader.

58 Social outcast, metaphorically : LEPER

The horrible disease known as leprosy is also called Hansen’s disease, named after the Norwegian physician famous for isolating the bacterium that causes the disease. We can use the term “leper” to mean someone in general who is shunned by society.

60 Portuguese greeting : OLA

Portugal is the most westerly country in Europe, and is located in the west of the Iberian Peninsula alongside Spain. The name “Portugal” comes from the Latin “Portus Cale”, the name used by ancient Romans for Porto, now the country’s second largest city. Portugal was a far-reaching power in the 15th and 16th centuries, at the center of the world’s first truly global empire. A legacy of the Portuguese Empire is that today there are more than 240 million Portuguese speakers across the world.

61 __ sequitur : NON

We use the Latin term “non sequitur” to describe an illogical statement, usually irrelevant to what has immediately preceded. The literal translation of “non sequitur” is “it does not follow”.

62 Fortified wines from the Ocean State? : RI VERMOUTHS (not “river mouths”)

Rhode Island is the smallest state in the union, and is the second-most densely populated. (after New Jersey). Rhode Island is known as the Ocean State (and more informally “Little Rhody”), largely because about 14% of the state’s area is made up of ocean bays and inlets. Exactly how Rhode Island got its name is a little unclear. What is known is that way back in 1524, long before the Pilgrims came to New England, the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano likened an island in the area to the Island of Rhodes in the Mediterranean. There were subsequent references to “Rhode Island” in English publications, before the colonists arrived.

Vermouth is a fortified wine that is infused with various aromatic flavors. The vermouth that we use today originated in Turin, Italy in the mid-1700s. The various vermouths produced all use a neutral grape wine as a base, with alcohol added to fortify it. Dry ingredients like herbs or roots are added to give a distinctive flavor, and then sugar can be added to make the drink sweeter. Today, most vermouth comes from Italy and France.

67 Veal or venison : MEAT

Veal is the meat from calves, whereas beef is the meat from mature cattle. Most veal comes from male calves, as the females can be more valuable as producers of cow’s milk. Historically, veal production has been one of the most controversial practices in animal farming. Some farmers restricted the movement of veal calves by confining them in crates for the whole of their short lives in order to produce paler and more tender meat.

Venison is the meat of a deer. In days of yore, the term “venison” applied not just to deer, but to any large game. The word ultimately derives from the Latin “venare” meaning “to hunt”.

69 Bathroom fixture : BIDET

“Bidet” is a French word that we imported into English. In French, the word “bidet” originally described a small horse or a pony. The bidet bathroom fixture was so called because one straddles it like a horse in order to use it.

70 IDs on tax forms : SSNS

The main purpose of a Social Security Number (SSN) is to track individuals for the purposes of taxation, although given its ubiquitous use, it is looking more and more like an identity number to me. The social security number system was introduced in 1936. Prior to 1986, an SSN was required only for persons with substantial income, so many children under 14 had no number assigned. For some years the IRS had a concern that a lot of people were claiming children on their tax returns who did not actually exist. So starting in 1986, the IRS made it a requirement to get an SSN for any dependents over the age of 5. Sure enough, seven million dependents “disappeared” in 1987. Today, a SSN is required for a child of any age in order to receive a tax exemption.

Down

1 Michael who plays Alfred in “The Dark Knight” trilogy : CAINE

There have been only two actors who have been nominated for an Academy Award in every decade from the 1960s to the 2000s. One is Jack Nicholson, and the other is Michael Caine. Caine is now known as Sir Michael Caine, as he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in the year 2000.

Alfred J. Pennyworth is the loyal butler to Bruce Wayne, aka Batman. Alfred is sometimes referred to as “Batman’s batman”. Sir Michael Caine played Alfred in three movies: “Batman Begins”, “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises”.

3 Lackey : SYCOPHANT

A sycophant is a selfish person, and one who flatters. The term comes from the Greek “sykophantes” which originally meant “one who shows the fig”. This phrase described a vulgar gesture made with the thumb and two fingers.

A lackey is someone quite servile, or a male servant. The term probably comes from the Middle French “laquais”, a word used for a footman or servant.

4 Level just below the majors : AAA

That would be baseball.

6 Xipe Totec worshipper : AZTEC

Xipe Totec was a deity in Aztec religion and mythology whose name translates to “Our Lord the Flayed One”. The name is a reference to his practice of flaying the skin from his body to feed humanity.

8 Eclectic musician Brian : ENO

Brian Eno started his musical career with Roxy Music. However, Eno’s most oft-played composition (by far!) is Microsoft’s “startup jingle”, the 6-second sound you hear when the Windows operating system is booting up. Eno might have annoyed the Microsoft folks when he stated on a BBC radio show:

I wrote it on a Mac. I’ve never used a PC in my life; I don’t like them.

10 Banana Republic alternative : J.CREW

J.Crew is a clothing and accessory retailer. Never been there, but I’ve seen the name turn up on credit card statements somehow …

11 Sleep clinic study : APNEA

Sleep apnea (“apnoea” in British English) can be caused by an obstruction in the airways, possibly due to obesity or enlarged tonsils.

12 Dank and damp : MUSTY

Something described as “musty” has a stale or moldy odor. The term derives from an obsolete word “moisty”, as in “moist”.

14 Messenger __ : RNA

Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

23 Nosh on : EAT

Our word “nosh” has been around since the late fifties, when it was imported from the Yiddish word “nashn” meaning “to nibble”. We use “nosh” as a noun that means “snack”, or as a verb meaning “to eat between meals”.

25 Flea market transaction : RESALE

Flea markets are known by various names around the world. In Australia, the term “trash and treasure market” is used. Such outdoor events are called car boot sales in Britain and Ireland, whereas indoor versions might be jumble sales or bring-and-buy sales.

26 Educated guess, basically: Abbr. : EST

Estimate (est.)

28 Traditional garment for Japan’s Coming of Age Day : KIMONO

The lovely Japanese kimono is a garment worn by men, women and children. The word “kimono” translates simply as “thing to wear”, with “ki” meaning “wear” and “mono” meaning “thing”.

The age of majority in Japan is 20 years. Coming of Age Day, which is held annually on the second Monday of January, is used to congratulate those who have reached the age of adulthood.

30 Org. in “Miss Congeniality” : FBI

“Miss Congeniality” is a comedy released in 2000 starring Sandra Bullock as an FBI agent who goes undercover in the Miss United States pageant. The critics panned this one, but I really enjoyed it …

31 Three-time Tony winner __-Manuel Miranda : LIN

Lin-Manuel Miranda is a composer and playwright from New York City, and the creator and star of the hit Broadway musicals “Hamilton” and “In the Heights”. Miranda also co-wrote the songs for the 2016 Disney animated feature “Moana”. He started composing early, and wrote jingles as a child. One of those jingles was later used by Eliot Spitzer in his 2006 gubernatorial campaign.

32 West __: upscale furniture store : ELM

West Elm is an upscale furniture store that is owned by Williams-Sonoma. The chain was founded in 2002.

36 “Thx” counterpart : PLS

A polite person might use “pls” (please) and “thx” (thanks) in a text.

39 Spar above a ship’s figurehead : BOWSPRIT

A bowsprit is a spar that sticks out at the bow of a boat. It extends the vessel’s length and hence moves the stays for the foremast as far forward as possible.

42 Job safety org. : OSHA

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

43 Pitch : TAR

The terms “tar” and “pitch” are both used to describe the substance obtained by destructive distillation of organics like wood and coal. That said, “tar” often refers to a more liquid material, and “pitch” to a more viscous fluid.

45 Last new Olds : ALERO

The Alero was the last car made by General Motors under the Oldsmobile brand. It was produced from 1999 to 2004.

46 Orch. section : STR

Many an orchestra (orch.) has a string (str.) section.

50 Orchestra section : WINDS

Wind instruments all feature a column of air that is set into vibration by the player blowing into, or over, a mouthpiece. Broadly speaking, there are two families of wind instruments:

  • Brass instruments, e.g. horns, trumpets, tubas
  • Woodwind instruments, e.g. flutes, clarinets, saxophones

52 First word in a Jane Austen title : SENSE

“Sense and Sensibility” is an 1811 novel by Jane Austen, the first of the six novels that she penned. The original printing does not use Austen’s name, and rather was written “By a Lady”.

53 Attorney general under Reagan : MEESE

Ed Meese was born in Oakland, California and spent 24 years in the office of the Treasurer of Alameda County, the county in which I used to live. After military service, Meese earned himself a law degree at UC Berkeley. Later, as chief of staff for President Reagan, he was instrumental in a famous decision to crack down on student protesters at Berkeley which resulted in one protester dying and a two-week occupation of the city by the California National Guard.

55 Minnesota representative Omar : ILHAN

Ilhan Omar has been representing Minnesota’s 5th congressional district in the US House since 2019. At that time, she became one of the first two Muslim women, as well as the first Somali American, to serve in the US Congress.

56 Bridge positions : EASTS

The four people playing bridge (the card game) are positioned around a table at seats referred to as north, east, south and west. Each player belongs to a pair, with north playing with south, and east playing with west.

59 Triage pro : EMT

Emergency medical technician (EMT)

Triage is the process of prioritizing patients for treatment, especially on the battlefield. The term “triage” is French and means “sorting”.

62 Saguaro segment : RIB

The saguaro is a beautiful cactus, one that is native to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. Arizona is proud of its saguaros, featuring them prominently on its license plates. If you ever get a chance to visit the Saguaro National Park in southern Arizona, I thoroughly recommend it.

63 Here, on Métro maps : ICI

The Paris Métro is the busiest underground transportation system in western Europe. The network carries about 4.5 million passengers a day, which is about the same ridership as the New York City Subway. The system took its name from the company that originally operated it, namely “La Compagnie du chemin de fer métropolitain de Paris” (The Metropolitan Paris Railroad Company), which was shortened to “Métro”. The term “Metro” was then adopted for similar systems in cities all over the world.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Spanish home : CASA
5 Yelped about? : RATED
10 Fix : JAM
13 Actress Taylor-Joy : ANYA
14 Take from commercial to residential, maybe : REZONE
15 PC core : CPU
16 Flower of the Hoosier State? : IN CARNATION (not “incarnation”)
18 Some triage pros : RNS
19 Opposite of paleo- : NEO-
20 Stand for a presentation : EASEL
21 Clog fillers : FEET
22 Boot : EXPEL
24 Basement access in the Palmetto State? : SC AREA WAY (not “scare away”)
27 Three-line verse : HAIKU
29 Screen __ : TEST
30 Clothing in the Sunshine State? : FL ATTIRE (not “flat tire”)
33 Rise to the occasion : STEP UP
37 Refrigerator drawer : BIN
38 Word before toast or after peach : MELBA
40 Comm. system in the film “CODA” : ASL
41 Entirely : IN TOTO
44 Girls from the Show-Me State? : MO LASSES (not “molasses”)
47 Without : SANS
49 Sore spots : WELTS
50 Psychedelics from the Evergreen State? : WA ‘SHROOMS (not “washrooms”)
54 Banks known as “Mr. Cub” : ERNIE
57 Think piece? : IDEA
58 Social outcast, metaphorically : LEPER
60 Portuguese greeting : OLA
61 __ sequitur : NON
62 Fortified wines from the Ocean State? : RI VERMOUTHS (not “river mouths”)
65 Some triage pros : DRS
66 Clinches the deal : ICES IT
67 Veal or venison : MEAT
68 “Happy now?” : SEE?
69 Bathroom fixture : BIDET
70 IDs on tax forms : SSNS

Down

1 Michael who plays Alfred in “The Dark Knight” trilogy : CAINE
2 Building addition : ANNEX
3 Lackey : SYCOPHANT
4 Level just below the majors : AAA
5 Instill confidence in : REASSURE
6 Xipe Totec worshipper : AZTEC
7 Labor over : TOIL AT
8 Eclectic musician Brian : ENO
9 Lair : DEN
10 Banana Republic alternative : J.CREW
11 Sleep clinic study : APNEA
12 Dank and damp : MUSTY
14 Messenger __ : RNA
17 On again : RELIT
21 Destiny : FATE
23 Nosh on : EAT
25 Flea market transaction : RESALE
26 Educated guess, basically: Abbr. : EST
28 Traditional garment for Japan’s Coming of Age Day : KIMONO
30 Org. in “Miss Congeniality” : FBI
31 Three-time Tony winner __-Manuel Miranda : LIN
32 West __: upscale furniture store : ELM
34 Misbehave in class, in a way : PASS NOTES
35 Purpose : USE
36 “Thx” counterpart : PLS
39 Spar above a ship’s figurehead : BOWSPRIT
42 Job safety org. : OSHA
43 Pitch : TAR
45 Last new Olds : ALERO
46 Orch. section : STR
48 Cracked, as a mystery : SOLVED
50 Orchestra section : WINDS
51 Love to bits : ADORE
52 First word in a Jane Austen title : SENSE
53 Attorney general under Reagan : MEESE
55 Minnesota representative Omar : ILHAN
56 Bridge positions : EASTS
59 Triage pro : EMT
62 Saguaro segment : RIB
63 Here, on Métro maps : ICI
64 Verbal hesitations : UMS

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 25 Nov 22, Friday”

  1. Another toughie for me. I finally had to look up which state is the Ocean State. When I got washrooms, which is the first “funny” one I got, it threw me off getting the others. Don’t ask why, it just did. And you go, Bill!

  2. Finished with no errors….understood most of the clue/answer combinations
    but not WA-shrooms. Not familiar with “shrooms”….but if you say so…..

  3. Now, that was a great puzzle!. Clever beyond words. Got the theme pretty quick and that helped a little but, not sure of the different states’ nicknames, had to make some good guesses and some other good guesses, so hoorah for me!

  4. 31:19 with one error where a foreign word and proper name cross (what’s new?)
    None of the theme answers have abbreviated words except 50A unless schrooms is a word.
    Stay safe😀

  5. 10:53

    Got stuck until I figured out the theme. Good one!

    Today I learned the term “AREA WAY”. I’ve seen that sort of basement door, but never heard that before.

  6. 17:13 – no errors or lookups. False starts: TIME>TEST, END>ELM, AIM>USE.

    New: “Xipe Totec,” “Japan’s Coming of Age Day,” “saguaro segment.”

    Wow – six theme clues in a 15×15 grid! I had occasional difficulty in seeing the common term with the state breakout, but eventually could make out all of them. Took a bit to tecall the state names for “Evergreen” and “Ocean”. “Area way” is not a familiar term to me for a basement access.

    Interesting to have basically the same clue 3 times (“triage pro[s]). Also had two “orchestra section” clues.

  7. Funny story about shrooms. Back in the early seventies after I graduated high school and was in college, a friend of mine a couple of years youger and still in high school and a friend of his were in a field gathering mushrooms not realizing that the field they were in belonged to the county sherrif who caught them. My buddy was in a panic to come up with an explanation when his friend said, “We’re collecting plants for a biology project for school.” I guess the sheriff was oblivious to the fact that mushrooms aren’t really plants and let them go, but the whole bio thing was still applicable.

  8. 11 mins 26 sec and no errors. Didn’t find this one easy at all. Had to keep chipping away at it until it fell into place.

  9. Nice, mostly easy Friday for me; took 15:16 with no peeks or errors. Cute theme which helped along the way. Stuck in the E section with aim then end then USE and made a few other guesses in that section. I too never heard of AREA WAY, but have definitely seen them before, after checking out Google images.

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